Lima – Nationalist candidate Ollanta Humala won the presidential runoff election held over the weekend in Peru, the national elections office said.
Humala garnered 50.7 percent of the vote, while rival Keiko Fujimori won 49.29 percent, with 84.4 percent of the ballots counted from Sunday's election, national elections office chief Magdalena Chu said.
Election officials are still waiting to count the ballots from remote rural areas, which are considered places where Humala has more support than Fujimori, the daughter of disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori, Chu said.
"The great transformation that is arriving this day at the Government Palace is the product of the work of millions of Peruvians, men and women who have fought to defend democracy and its values, and who are represented here today," Humala told supporters.
Humala, who led a failed coup with his brother, Antauro, on Oct. 29, 2000, against then-President Alberto Fujimori, lost the 2006 election in a runoff against Alan Garcia.
The nationalist candidate made an effort during his campaign to convince voters that he had no plans to impose a Venezuelan-style socialist system in Peru.
Humala stressed that he would guarantee freedom of the press and the right to private property, and he emphasized the gap between his platform and the socialist model implemented by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, with whom he is often compared by opponents.
While distancing himself from Chavez, Humala has aligned himself with Brazil, whose current president and predecessor - Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, respectively - left behind their far-left pasts after entering national politics and adopted business-friendly policies.
The new administration will have a "commitment to the Peruvian people of economic growth with social inclusion," Humala said.
"We will work in foreign relations to seek to affirm that Peru is a country that seeks Latin American unity, we will seek relations based on brotherhood with each people in the region. We are going to continue the good that we have been doing, we are going to correct the bad and we are going to have a transformation," Humala said.
The new administration will bring about change by "fighting and giving no quarter to corruption and the corrupt," Humala said.
"My only boss is the Peruvian people," Humala said.
Keiko Fujimori, for her part, conceded defeat on Sunday night and left her campaign headquarters at a Lima hotel.
Humala extended an olive branch to Fujimori during his address to his supporters.
"To my rival in these elections, my respects. The election campaign has ended and the president of all Peruvians will take office on July 28, assuming responsibility for giving continuity to the work of consolidating our growth," Humala said.
Keiko Fujimori had said she would follow the right-wing policies of her father, whose 1990-2000 administration succeeded in crushing leftist guerrillas but later collapsed amid a burgeoning corruption scandal involving his spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos.
The septuagenarian Alberto Fujimori is serving a long prison sentence for massacres carried out under his 10-year authoritarian rule.
"It's pretty likely" that Alberto Fujimori will be transferred from the police barracks where he has been serving his sentence to a facility more appropriate for someone convicted of serious crimes, Second Vice President-elect Omar Chehade told Efe.
Chehade, a former prosecutor who handled Fujimori's extradition from Chile, said the Humala administration would nevertheless respect the former president's rights.
Fujimori, who is suffering from cancer, could be given a humanitarian pardon, as Humala announced last Friday, if his health deteriorates, Chehade said.
"Like every person who has a serious illness or terminal cancer, he'll get a pardon or benefit, but for that we'll first have to see if Fujimori has it or not, and if he is deserving of receiving it," Chehade said.